I initially became interested in the issue of peak oil after reading a magazine article on the topic several years ago. The evidence for an imminent oil peak seemed quite convincing, and the projected consequences both realistic and dire. In the face of this, I recall being shocked that it is not an issue to which more attention is given, particularly in a social climate where energy use relative to global warming is seemingly of paramount concern. I decided to explore peak oil in more depth in a research paper, hoping to shed light on the importance of considering the problem of peak oil in constructing a plan for future energy-use models.

I began my research by reading Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert’s Peak by Kenneth S. Deffeys, which provided a useful overview of the science behind oil exploration and development, as well as further evidence that current production models will soon be insufficient to meet oil demand. Armed with more knowledge in the area, I continued research in both academic and popular publications. I constructed a draft, which, with input from my writing professor, I molded through several revisions into the final paper. I am pleased with the result, although because of the limitations of scope I am afraid it may seem overly pessimistic, presenting problems without complete solutions. Given the opportunity, I would like to complete a complementary paper in which I discuss possible solutions to the energy crisis.

GORDON TOWNE is currently a Junior in the College of Arts & Sciences majoring in Computer Science. He came to Boston University after living in the upper peninsula of Michigan and central Massachusetts. He is also currently a competitive member of the reigning national intercollegiate champion BU Figure Skating Team. This essay was written for Deborah Breen’s WR150: Innovation in Technology and Science: Historical Perspectives.